Hands-on: Riders Republic Beta

This week, some of us here at SA Gamer had the opportunity to try out the Beta for Ubisoft’s neon-infused open-world outdoor sports mass multiplayer playground game Riders Republic. As expected with a Beta there were a few minor issues that will hopefully be sorted out before the final release. That being said, Riders Republic is already a heck of a lot of fun to play. We’ll briefly break down our initial thoughts below for those that want a more detailed view. However, the good news is that the Beta is now live for everyone (PlayStation, Xbox and PC) until the 28th of August with cross-play support. So be sure to give it a go yourself!

Early Impressions

Myself (PS4), Charlie (PC) and friend of the site Grant (or Gantz as he’s affectionately known) logged into Rider’s Republic together for the first time on Monday night. For those of you (like us) thinking that you’d immediately jump into some multiplayer mayhem, it’s worth noting that it took us about an hour or so to individually get through the initial section in the Beta. This section includes some early cutscenes that introduce you to the world and characters (the light narrative backbone to your mostly non-story-based gameplay). We also then got a crash course on some of the basics for three of the outdoor sports – biking, snowboarding/skiing and the flying wingsuit/jet pack combo.

TIM Riders Republic immediately reminds you of games like Steep and SSX in the best ways. Forza Horizon influences are also pretty evident in how the game balances a single-player campaign within a massive multiplayer arena and even in the Beta this worked rather well. The trick system takes a bit of getting used to (I opted for the right analogue stick control scheme) but you do get the hang of it after a while. Specific tricks seem more difficult to pull off versus some of the games mentioned above. However, this may be because I need more practice – but it’s also likely because they’ve thankfully opted for some control uniformity across the different sporting disciplines.

During the Beta, we got to try out mass racing and trick battle events, test out how the customisation will work and we even saw large sections of the open-world map. I found all the modes quite enjoyable, particularly when you practised them a bit. However, personally, unlocking the Jet Pack was my highlight and exploring the world and flying around like Superman is something I really think they should show off more. In fact, whenever the game gets really mad – be it in costumes or ridiculous game modes, that’s when it really shines.

CHARLIE – The moment you fire up Riders Republic it just screams “Ubisoft Multiplayer” at you. It has the funky costumes, zany, diverse characters and this weird silent player character that just kind of follow along for the ride. As mentioned above, it feels a lot like playing a Forza Horizon game, but just with more variety in what you can do, since you’re not limited just to cars. The Beta shows off all the activities you can do quite well and I think there’s a lot of potential here. And knowing Ubisoft, if they support this game as well as they have other properties in the past, this will likely be a really great experience.

The game still requires a lot of spit and polish, but overall I think they’re on to something here. Riders Republic is fun, especially playing with your friends and just messing around, which is something that is definitely encouraged. I was particularly impressed with the crossplay integration considering it is still in an early Beta state. Overall, I liked it, and look forward to seeing what more this game has to offer when it launches in a more polished state later this year.

GANTZ – I feel the beta ran fairly well. Even with the sheer amount of people that were on the servers, matchmaking for most of the game modes where pretty quick and held up solidly. The best game modes in my opinion were the mass race event (I had loads of fun with that) and the trick event. The latter is best described as a mix between Splatoon and playing the highest trick in the Tony Hawk games. On the downside, the social stuff still felt a little janky. For example, we couldn’t invite Tim (playing on console) while Charlie and I were already in a group. I also feel that the checkpoints need to be a little bit more forgiving and at times going through the gates didn’t properly trigger the checkpoint (however, I’m hoping that might just be a minor Beta issue). I’d love it if they added a ghost mode like in Forza Horizon. Unfortunately, as it is now, it was infuriating that any random player can easily ruin your race if they just happen to nudge you just a little out of the checkpoint. I’d also love it if the tricks could be better explained. Overall I thought it was a solid and enjoyable experience!

Nintendo Nerd, sharing my love of Mario with the world one pixel at a time.

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